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In today’s information-rich environment, successful teams continuously upskill and stay updated with the latest industry trends. The last thing you or your team wants is to fall into overwhelm and the fixed mindset trap of thinking, “Nothing I do will make a difference.” The most successful teams possess a growth mindset and are confident in their ability to embrace new information, improve, and excel with practice and hard work.

Having trained and coached numerous managers and teams throughout my experience, I’ve discovered three prevalent fallacies that cripple teams causing them to miss their goals. These misconceptions lead to significant financial losses for companies.

Don’t fall into the same trap! Learn more about the 3 common learning myths and what you can do to overcome the misconceptions.

Learning Myths Can Wreak Havok on Your Team’s Success

3 Common Learning MythsLast week, during my morning run, I saw three horses lying in the grass. It startled me because I thought horses only lay down when they’re sick – or worse. But a woman by the fence assured me that while horses sleep standing up, they rest “lying down” when relaxed and happy. It turns out I had bought into a popular myth.

You might believe in myths too, like carrots giving you night vision, bulls hating red, or lightning not striking twice. Whether out of misconception, hearsay, or urban legend, these myths are passed down through the generations and acted on as facts.

What’s the harm in that? After all, a few more carrots or precautions when trekking through a lightning storm feels like sound advice. However, when it comes to training reps to sell, learning myths wreak havoc on your team’s ability to retain information and make sales.

Neuromyths are misconceptions about brain research and its application to learning and retention. They arise from overgeneralizations or misunderstandings of scientific findings, making them challenging to debunk.

3 Common Sales Training Learning MYTHS

Myth #1: Repetition is the Key to Learning

(and therefore the key to successful training)

An example of repetition might be cramming for a test. You read and re-read the material and perhaps ace the test, but you forget the content afterward. This “mass practice” approach of trying to burn something into memory is the least productive form of learning.

Retrieval (not repetition) is the key to learning. Recalling facts or concepts from memory is a much more effective learning strategy than reading, reviewing and re-reviewing learning materials over and over. So how is retrieval accomplished? It only happens when students pause and ask themselves:

  • What did I just learn?
  • How does that apply to me and my world?
  • Why is this concept important?
  • Where will I use it?
  • When will I use it?
  • Where else does this concept hold true in my life?

Learning is deeper and more durable when more effort is involved. Learning that’s easy is here today and gone tomorrow.

Myth #2: When it Comes to Learning, Learners Know Best.

Many clients send out polls asking reps about their preferred learning style. The questions look like: How do you want to learn (topic)? Lecture, role play, virtual learning, reading, etc.?

Most reps prefer attending a lecture or seminar on a particular topic, such as closing or overcoming objections. However, research shows even when reps have strong opinions, they’re usually wrong. Why is that? Let’s face it, attending a lecture is easier. Learners tend to prefer learning experiences that are, well, comfortable.

We default to laziness when it comes to learning and development. A passive learning experience (such as watching a video, reading an article, or listening to a lecture) is a comfortable way to take in information.

Getting new information to stick long-term takes effort, discomfort, and god-forbid role play. When you assign e-learning, therefore, it’s critical that you ask learners to:

  • Explain what they have learned and why it’s relevant
  • Ask how they will implement it.
  • Engage in Role play activities.

Learning a new skill involves taking risks and, yes, making mistakes. Struggle and failure are simply part of the learning process and, while uncomfortable at times, should be seen as a normal step on the road to understanding.

Myth #3: Train Your Reps Everything When They’re First Hired

Many companies make the mistake of trying to teach their reps everything during onboarding – expecting them to retain that information for years to come. Whether it’s a two, four, or six-week program, this approach may seem convenient for the company, but it hampers the learning process.

Research on memory and cognitive load shows that overwhelming the brain with excessive information is counterproductive.

While practice is crucial for learning and memory, studies have revealed that breaking practice into separate training periods, spaced out over time, is far more effective. In other words, to reduce cognitive overload, it’s best to chunk learning into manageable segments over an extended period.

The gap between good and bad performers is not between those who know a lot and those who know a little; the gap is between those who give some of themselves to their practice and those who give all of themselves. The difference is retrieval, effort and a commitment to ongoing learning and development.

If you are a trainer or a seller who wants to train the way people learn and gain access to modern sales tools, check out our upcoming Masterclass: 4 Pillars of an Effective Training & Coaching Program.

More Learning Myths That Hold Teams Back

  • Managers don’t need to be part of the training.
  • It will only take one training session for our team.
  • Repetition is the key to success.
  • The 10,000-hour rule
  • And several others.

These learning myths can be detrimental to your sales team’s progress. Statistics show that 60% of all learners would rather learn from their peers than from you. You could say, “Ouch, that hurts!” or realize that with preparation, you can build a results-producing training program, get time back in your schedule, and continue to learn and grow through others.

4 Pillars of an Effective Training and Coaching Program